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March 24, 2023 - 1 Kings 10-16

The Queen of Sheba to Solomon: “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me” (10:6,7). And: “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel!” (10:9) “Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom” (10:23). How greatly the Lord blessed Solomon. Thus, how much more wicked was his turning away from the Lord, the story which is told in the following chapters.

Solomon loved foreign women. He built the high places for their gods. “. . . when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father” (11:4). And though, in response, the Lord raised up adversaries against Solomon (ch. 11), yet God did not tear the kingdom from Solomon’s hand because of his promise to David (11:13). With Rehoboam, the kingdom became divided, but Judah and Jerusalem remained under the Davidic dynasty, again, just as the Lord had promised. Division, Jeroboam’s golden calves and illegitimate priests, the multiplication of high places under Rehoboam, the succeeding kings walking in all the sins of their fathers (e.g., 15:3, 12), war between Israel and Judah (11:16), hope placed in military alliances rather than in God (11:19), political murders (11:29; 12:10), Ahab and Jezebel, and all the rest. At times, it seems as if God’s plans were doomed to failure. Oh, no! The worst that man might do cannot derail God’s plans. He has promised a Messiah from the line of David, and a Messiah from the line of David there will be!

It's good to remember, through the sweep of history, and all the days which seemingly scream to us that all is lost, that God remains on his throne and that he will accomplish all that he intends. And what grace is given to Solomon and to us!

Repeat the story o’er and o’er,

Of grace so full and free;

I love to hear it more and more,

Since grace has rescued me.

The half was never told,

The half was never told,

of Grace Divine, so wonderful,

The half was never, never told. -- Philip P. Bliss (1876)

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